tv ABC World News Tonight ABC February 7, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
welcome to "world news tonight." extreme weather. drenching rain and powerful winds batter the west. the new storms threatening floods and mudslides. and bracing for another wild weekend in the east. boston in for another foot of snow? terror alert. new arrests right here at home. six people including a mother of four accused of sending weapons to isis. and the parents of that young american woman held hostage by the terror group make a public plea, hoping she's still alive. deadly crash. former olympian and reality star bruce jenner in an accident on a california highway. one dead many injured. images of the mangled cars coming in tonight. and, powerball fever. the biggest jackpot in years. the rush for tickets. what will you buy if you win?
and, what are your chances? >> these are winners! good evening. and thank you for joining us on this saturday, i'm cecilia vega. and we begin with over 60 million americans preparing for powerful storms weather threatening both the west and the east tonight. right here behind me, the scene in washington at this hour. swollen rivers from heavy rain and another storm is on the way. fierce winds, too, up to 50 miles an hour, destroying these umbrellas in oakland, california, and toppling giant trees. downing power lines. meanwhile, in the east, falling snow seen through the window of this manhattan high rise. a powerful system targeting the northeast. the forecast in a moment, but first, abc's aditi roy in california tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the west bracing for another round of stormy weather. forecasters projecting up to six more inches in the already rain-battered areas.
>> when you've got two storms coming through back-to-back, that takes a lot of energy. >> reporter: all hands on deck? >> all hands on deck. >> reporter: throughout northern california, high winds already downing trees and power lines. wires falling onto this mini van in sonoma county, trapping a mom and her three kids inside until crews could shut off the electricity. take a look at the roots of this 90-foot pine tree here in berkeley, california. feels massive just standing next to it. it fell on three homes, but luckily, no one was hurt. in the eastern sierras, 200 firefighters battling this blaze. >> we're right there on paradise point. >> reporter: 250 people evacuated. 20 structures destroyed. rain overnight helping stop the fire from spreading further. in washington state, flood waters that submerged the town of brinnon friday, now leveling off. >> it's been quite some time since it was this high. >> reporter: the east coast now bracing for extreme weather, too.
in boston, forecasters saying the city could get at least another foot of snow. transit officials deploying these snowblowers. their engines generating 3,000 pounds of thrust to blast snow off the tracks. neighbors here in california, racing to clean up before the next storm arrives tomorrow. cecilia? >> aditi, thank you. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano here. now, we just heard aditi talk about the storm that's on the way. you were just telling me it's even going to be bigger than this last one. >> reporter: yeah, a bit of a break tonight, but the next one is a big one. you can see it on the satellite picture, already developing. it will strengthen over the next 24 hours and by tomorrow afternoon, it will be just off the coast. but close enough to spawn strong winds and heavy rains from san francisco north towards seattle. some of the winds will be damaging. some of the rains will be flooding. and some mudslides across northern california. the beneficial rains not getting all the way to southern california los angeles and san diego, unfortunately for them. >> really need the rain out here. out here, it's been snowing today, but there's a bigger storm on the way?
>> reporter: yeah, it's going to be increasing. part of the pacific energy is going to get to the east coast. it's a little bit milder. the freezing line is going to be important as we go towards tomorrow. the snows increase across upstate new york and new england. new york to boston, again, a monday morning mess for commuters. here's what we think for accumulations. look at this. 12 to 18 inches, potentially upstate new york. through parts of central new england. maybe three to six inches for new york city. winter just keeps on coming. >> don't put those coats away yet. rob, thank you. we turn now to a terror threat right here at home. six people now under arrest, accused of sending money, weapons and supplies to isis. abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas has that story. >> reporter: mediha salkicevic stood in federal court in chicago today, accused by the fbi of supporting the murderous group isis, known for its vicious beheadings. her neighbors were shocked. >> it's something you get caught offguard by it. it makes you sort of feel less safe. >> reporter: salkicevic was one of six people from across the
country, from suburban illinois to upstate new york and st. louis caught in what prosecutors described as a conspiracy to funnel thousands in cash and military gear to isis. according to authorities, the suspects, all immigrants from bosnia ages 26 to 42 used the u.s. postal service to quietly ship rifle scopes camouflage clothing and boots to isis terrorists. those items were mailed to istanbul, turkey and then smuggled into syria. >> if you are willing to support fighters in syria, you would also be willing to take up arms here at home and carry out attacks here at home. >> reporter: one discovery in the investigation signifies law enforcement's concerns. the suspects are accused of supporting a st. louis man who traveled to syria to join islamic radicals. sources say that suspected terrorist, who has since been killed, bragged on facebook about capturing and slaughtering prisoners. the fbi believes the suspects knew they were supporting killers. cecilia, the fbi believes
there's mounting evidence that isis has a pool of support, right here inside the u.s. in the past year alone, 20 americans have been arrested for going, or trying to go to syria. >> pierre, thank you. next, to that new and heartbreaking look behind the scenes of a family's desperate bid to free their daughter, held hostage by isis. kayla mueller captured nearly 18 months ago and now isis claims she was killed in a bomb raid. tonight, her family breaking their silence. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross with that part of the story. >> reporter: u.s. officials tonight say, they still have no proof and lots of doubts about the isis claim that 26-year-old kayla mueller was killed in an air strike. >> she could have been killed some place else. she could have been dead for months. >> reporter: kayla's parents, marsha and carl, remain in seclusion in their arizona home. in a statement, they pleaded with isis to contact them directly as the terror group had apparently done before. "you told us you treated kayla as your guest," they said.
"as your guest, her safety and well-being remains your responsibility." their daughter had gone to syria to work with war refugees. posting this video on youtube, shortly before her capture a year and a half ago. >> i am in solidarity with the syrian people. >> reporter: if the reports are confirmed, kayla would be the fourth of four american isis hostages to be killed, along with peter kassig, steven sotloff and james foley. u.s. officials say, an american rescue mission last july 4th into syria missed all of the american hostages, including kayla, by just two days. today, james foley's mother, diane, told abc news, the white house has done too little, too late. >> kayla, along with our son and others, were held for nearly two years. and there were many opportunities along the way. and yet, nothing was done to save our young americans. >> reporter: tonight, the parents of kayla mueller say they are still holding out hope
their daughter is alive. brian ross, abc news. >> our thanks to brian ross. and one note tonight. the u.s. now saying it is reviewing its policy on how it deals with the families of hostages. also, another middle east ally rejoined the fight against isis. the united arab emirates ordered a squadron to jordan to take part in air strikes there. jordan is leading the charge, after isis brutally murdered one of its pilots by burning him in a cage. the barbarity has prompted anger throughout the region. turning now to breaking news out of southern california. olympic gold medalist and reality star bruce jenner involved in a horrific multi-car crash. jenner appears to be okay, but at least one person is dead. five others taken to the hospital. here's abc's gloria riviera. >> reporter: los angeles county police confirmed the multivehicle crash occurred this afternoon. this video capturing crumpled cars across several lanes.
bruce jenner driving along the pacific coast in malibu. a passenger inside one of the cars, police say. one person involved died at the scene. >> jenner is doing tremendously. >> reporter: jenner first shot to stardom in 1976, taking the gold medal for the u.s. in the decathlon at the olympics in montreal. audiences today also know him for his role on the immensely popular reality show "keeping up with the kardashians." recently, jenner making his own headlines. the subject of discussion regarding his changing appearance. growing his hair longer, appearing in public with his nails painted. >> what i will say that i think -- >> reporter: when asked, his step-daughter kim kardashian recently telling "entertainment tonight," "i feel like that is his journey to tell." tonight, abc has been told that bruce jenner is fine. there are no further comments about the accident. gloria riviera, abc news, washington. and we turn now to a big apology tonight from a cable giant. a woman who spent months battling comcast over service
couldn't believe the words that showed up on her bill and she is not the first customer to open the mail and find a derogatory word next to her name. abc's ron claiborne has the story. >> reporter: when mary brauer of chicago got her latest comcast cable bill, she was shocked. the envelope read "mary super bbrab bb >> i will not open it up because of what it says, super b bauer, and my name is not that. >> reporter: she says the abusive language was uncalled for. >> somebody has got to teach them how to be good and be kind to people. >> reporter: in a statement to abc's chicago affiliate, comcast said, "we are continuing to investigate this thoroughly, and have reached out to our customer to apologize and make it right." comcast has already had to apologize before, for another obscenely labeled bill, and it follows an embarrassing 20-minute conversation, caught on tape last summer with a
comcast customer representative recorded by a customer named ryan block. >> we'd like to disconnect, please. >> all right, so why is it that you don't want the fastest speed? help me understand why you don't want faster internet. >> help me understand why you can't disconnect us. >> reporter: frank eliason, a former comcast customer service executive, is now speaking out, blaming a culture that fails to make customers a priority. >> they keep apologizing. you know, it's not about apologies. it's about doing it right the first time. >> reporter: bauer says her complaints were ignored until she went public. >> customers should never need to have to go to the press or to social media or sending an e-mail to the ceo to get the right service. >> reporter: eliason believes comcast really is trying to change. they're just not there yet. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. next, to all you dreamers out there. just a few hours until tonight's powerball drawing, $380 million up for grabs. the biggest jackpot in years.
so, what would you buy, where would you go if you managed to get your hands on the winning ticket? well, before you start planning, here's abc's kendis gibson with your odds. >> reporter: across the country, frantic sales. >> two picks for the powerball. >> reporter: $380 million up for grabs in tonight's powerball. >> i want to win! >> reporter: players facing long odds, 1 in 175 million. but still, fueling big dreams. >> buy a nice house, a nice car. >> i'm tired of working. i want to be rich. >> reporter: tonight's drawing, the tenth-largest in powerball history. >> good luck. >> reporter: people in pennsylvania are feeling lucky, and with good reason. the state has sold the most winning powerball tickets since 2002. and if you're trying your luck, consider this. quick picks give you a 70% better chance at winning than your own numbers. but if you are choosing your own numbers, 26 is the most commonly picked, with 20 the most drawn powerball. and perhaps the most important tip of all.
>> by just spending a couple of dollars, you could win $380 million tonight. >> reporter: well, here's something to dream about in these winter months. tonight's winner, if they wanted to, could buy 21,000 first class tickets for their closest friends to the maldives, where the current temperature is 82 degrees and the wind chill is a brutal 80 degrees. cecilia? >> good luck with that ticket in your hand there, kendis. thank you. we move on now to an announcement from nbc's brian williams. he just issued a statement in the wake of his disclosure that he made false claims about being in a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while covering the iraq war in 2003. he says "in the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it's become painfully apparent to me that i am too much apart of the news duce to my actions. as managing editor of nbc nightly news, i have decided to take myself off my daily broadcast for the next several days."
nbc has launched its own internal investigation. well we have much more ahead on "world news tonight." coming up, suiting up. it's one of the most popular youth sports organizations in the country. but tonight, why one mother is suing pop warner football after the death of her son, calling it ultra hazardous. and on another football field, you know that shark from katy perry's blowout halftime show. tonight, why perry's lawyers are crying foul. meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax revenue... and a new century of american energy security.
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>> this is the pop warner picture. joseph is on the left. >> reporter: from the time he was 11 years old, joseph chernach loved playing football. but his mother is now suing the youth football league pop warner for $5 million, saying the repeated trauma to her son's brain resulted in his suicide at 25. >> i just couldn't understand why a happy kid turned into someone so depressed. >> reporter: in her lawsuit, pyka alleges pop warner football disregarded the plaintiff's right to safety. >> pop warner allows children who still have to sit in the backseat in a carseat to play tackle football with helmets. that is the problem. >> reporter: knowledge about the dangers of youth football has evolved. a recent boston university study found that former nfl players who played tackle football before the age of 12 are more likely to have serious brain damage.
pop warner says they have made rule changes to make the game safer, but in a statement, says, "we question the merits of singling out four years of youth football amid a career of sports that lasted through high school." >> even if this mother was able to demonstrate that football was the cause of the injury that doesn't mean she wins a lawsuit. you still have to prove that they knew or should have known how dangerous football is. and i think that's just incredibly unlikely. >> reporter: pyka says she hopes her lawsuit will make other parents think twice about letting their kids play football. linzie janis, abc news, new york. still ahead on "world news tonight," what you need to know before buying your valentine chocolates. the warning tonight from one of america's most popular candymakers. our "instant index" is next up. than a spontaneous moment.
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straight to the index. starting with a fine for l.a. clippers star chris paul. he set off a firestorm for his postgame comments about a female referee who slapped him with a technical foul for arguing about a call. paul suggested the ref may not be up for the job. but today, the nba fined him $25,000. paul says his criticism was about the call, not her gender. next, to a pre-valentine's day warning from one of america's most popular candy companies. see's candies says some heart-shaped boxes of candies already shipped nationwide may
be mislabeled and could contain nuts. see's is recommending people with nut allergies avoid their eight-ounce boxes labeled classic red hearts, with assorted chocolates. and seeing red tonight. lawyers for pop superstar katy perry. yeah, you remember that left shark who seemed to forget the dance moves during her super bowl halftime show. well, an enterprising artist created a p-3-d s online. lawyers demanded it be taken down. that artist now has a lawyer of his own. and when we come back, from an irish brogue to a southern drawl, can animals have regional accents, too? tonight, the chimpanzee that moved to scotland and developed the accent to go with it. our eyes they have a 200-degree range of sight. which is good for me. hey! and bad for the barkley twins. your brain can send information to
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and finally tonight, we've known how similar to us chimpanzees are, but talking like us, too? ever wonder what a chimp grunt with a scottish accent sounds like? our resident scotsman nick watt checked it out. >> reporter: paul the chimpanzee moved from a dutch safari park to this zoo in scotland five years ago.
and now, they say, he's talking with a scottish accent. [ screech ] >> that's absolutely bizarre. it hilarious. >> reporter: researchers honed in on the chimp grunt that means apple. here's how paul used to say it. [ screech ] now, he says it like this. [ screech ] a subtle but seismic distinction, because that's exactly how his new scottish friends like louis say it. paul has learned to speak scottish. >> is this like me learning the french word for apple so i can communicate with a french person or is it like me moving to glasgow and start speaking with a glaswegian accent? >> reporter: unclear. but it proves chimps can control their grunts. it's almost language as we know it. not just an excited innate animal reaction. like louis the chimp, i'm from scotland and i say apple.
like paul the chimp, my kid's lived overseas a few years in los angeles. now he says -- >> apple. >> reporter: subtle, but seismic. >> this proves they are like humans. we do the same thing, don't we? >> yeah. >> reporter: and just like humans, they like to fit in. nick watt, abc news, los angeles. >> just like us. "gma" and "this week" in the morning and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. i'm cecilia vega in new york. thanks for spending part of your saturday with us. good night.